When your reality is punctuated with things that only you can see or hear, you irrefutably jump to the obvious and worst possible conclusion. Well, sometimes the obvious conclusion is not actually the correct conclusion at all. Sometimes, you hear hoof prints and it really is the zebra.
I entered 2017 on a slice of hospital and will be ending 2017 on a slice of hospital. Two slices of slightly stale bread, with 365 layers of much of the same crap in between. I want to be optimistic. I want to look back on this year and say that I reached some goals, did some things to make myself proud, got stronger and healthier, perhaps learned to love myself a little bit more. It didn’t turn out to be that way, as, I guess, sometimes these things don’t. Don’t get me wrong, in some ways this year was great. In one way, it was the best of my life. On balance? Put it this way, 2018 already has a head start.
It is important to remember that an eating disorder is not a diet- it is an illness. Someone who hates themselves, hates the way they look, feels unfit to show themselves in public, feels disgust and shame at the natural cravings of their human body, no longer has the perspective to see what they really look like, place little to no value on things outside of their weight and food, and live in constant pain, suffering from chronic cold, poor circulation, dizziness, fatigue and mental sluggishness, did not choose this life. It starts with a diet, but no one imagines looking a year down the line and seeing someone they don't even recognise. An eating disorder is not a choice- it is a leech. It sticks to you, sucking everything from you, mind and body until you have nothing left.
What do you do to grieve three losses at once, and all of them so different? Over the last few days I've lain in silence and put my hand on my heart, waiting to feel it beating, and, of course, it is, always. I'm still here. But they are gone and they are not coming back. They. are. not. coming. back.
One of the magical powers all those who suffer with an eating disorder possess is that we genuinely believe we are different to everyone else. Not in a superior way, but in some way we are just not like other people. Other people need to eat. Other people would get sick and die if they didn't eat, but we're just not like that. We're different.